Holiday hang-up: No second helping for winter athletes

For many students, the holidays mean spending time with family, lounging on breaks and, of course, digging into mouth-watering food. But for some Falcon athletes, indulging in these traditionally delicious dinners isn’t an option.

Those in winter sports who have to stay consistent in their weight and health for their forthcoming seasons are unable to indulge in the season’s festive foods.  

Junior Tyler Goodall, a varsity wrestler, was unable to enjoy his Thanksgiving dinner last year due to a competition the next morning.

“If you’re below your weight, you can still compete, and if you’re above, they either bump you up or you can’t compete,” Goodall says.

Goodall also mentioned that he personally aims for healthy weight gain, but it can be frustrating when options are limited. High-calorie foods limit athletes’ portion sizes, as well as what they can actually eat.

This frustration is also felt by senior swimmer Kyra Skeens, who is restricted in her typically large family meals.

“Thanksgiving we’re not supposed to eat a ton because we have practice the next day,” Skeens says. “And if someone does, a lot of the times they throw up at practice.”

Thanksgiving isn’t the only holiday affected, but for Skeens, New Year’s Eve is also restrained. Swimmers are advised not to stay up late, as they have practice in the morning.

The frustration with these limitations makes an athlete question his or her involvement in sports. Is missing out on traditionally familial meals worth competing? For both Goodall and Skeens, it is.

“I don’t miss the day with my family,” says Skeens.